Sunday, March 1, 2015

Taking Snowflake Photos with iPhone or Smart phone Instructions

I'm so excited to share the knowledge of how to take a snow crystal photograph with your smart phone.  I have been taking photos of snow crystals with my microscope but I finally figured out I could use my iPhone 5S camera too.  This way I can finally get the whole crystal in the shot.  I was amazed at how the photos came out.  I have been looking at various ways to take these photos and there are so many complicated setups that you can follow as well but I found this simple and easy way to do this with today's technology.  This is what I do for the setup:

The "ingredients" you will need are:

2)  A smart phone with a camera
3)  A big sewing needle or something you can pick up the snowflake with (a small paintbrush might work as well but I haven't tried that yet).
4)  A piece of black velvet cloth or a colored piece of felt
5)  A microscope slide or a piece of plexiglas (something see through)
6  A magnifying lens for your camera
      -  I used the Olloclip for the iPhone 5S or you can use
      -  a jewelers loupe (they cost only a few $ online)
      -  a magnifying glass

When I know the snowstorm is coming I put a table outside on my porch so I have a place to work on.  You need to make sure your cloth and items you use are cold so put out the piece of velvet and the microscope slide and whatever you will use to manipulate the snow crystal.  Note that if you use a needle to move the snowflake make sure the needle is cold.  I kept putting the needle onto a piece of icy snow so it would be cold enough.  I'm sure there's a better way to pick the snow up but this is what I've figured out so far.

For the photo in this post, I captured the snowflake on the black velvet, moved it to the slide (which I put on another piece of black velvet that had no snow on it) using a big (cold) sewing needle, and then had the iPhone ready to take the photo.  With the Olloclip lens comes a little plastic hood so it is easy to set it down onto the slide directly over the snowflake.  Then just focus and take the photo.  Make sure you can steady your hand somehow because that will make a big difference.
If you are using felt you can just angle the phone camera with whatever magnifier you are using and zoom in take the shot.  The key is to steadiness.  If you are a photographer you will already know about that part.

Once you get the photos, use one of the many apps out there to edit and frame the shot.

Finally, HAVE FUN!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bentley Snowflake January Snowstorm 2014

My first snow crystal photo of 2014.   This one was taken with my Celestron LCD digital microscope at 10x during the January 21, 2014 snowstorm in Connecticut.  You can choose different colors to shine through on the slide.  The temperature was very cold, around 5 degrees F.   According to notes written by my Great Uncle, Wilson Bentley, it is the perfect temperature for photographing snowflakes.  It is also very difficult at those temperatures because you can't stay out in the cold for too long.  There was also a lot of snow coming down so it was also challenging to capture one crystal alone.  The snow crystals I did manage to capture singly were also larger as in this photo.  The crystal is too large to fit completely in the view finder even at only 10x.  It is still very interesting none the less.  Look at the tiny heart right in the nucleus of the crystal.  Is that a message of love from above?  :-)

Photos in love,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Water - the gift of Life

Water is the gift of life that gives us beautiful flowers such as these Phlox.  It also gives so much more to those in countries around the world that do not have access to it so easily.

From Tim Ferriss' blog:  "In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year (e.g. the entire annual workforce of France!) walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking for miles to the nearest source. The solution? Installing simple water wells for clean water in strategically close locations.
Children can then spend more time in classrooms learning, and women can contribute to their communities with their minds instead of carrying jerry cans most of the day.  
Please help by donating.  Tim Ferriss (Author of The 4-Hour Work Week) has a charity:Water birthday page where he's asking for donations .  Check out his blog to read more about it or go directly to the  Charity: Water birthday page.  

"Charity: Water sends 100% of every donation directly to fund projects in the field. No “administrative fees” or anything–every penny of every dollar goes to the field. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring is Coming to Connecticut!

These photos were taken across and down the street from my house as the sun was going down.  The clouds were dark, the sun was shining from the west as it was setting and it made the red tips of the trees all over just pop out!  It gave me new hope for Spring after such a long and snow winter (and a visit to Florida that was having a cold spell as well)!  :-)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Footprints in Snowy Connecticut

Saturday Photohunt
This week's theme is "footprints"

Heh heh - fooled ya... It's paw prints from one of the many snow storms we got this winter in snowy Connecticat :-)  Seriously, whether it's footprints or paw prints they all leave a pretty path.  Here's Angelica (Angie) walking in some freshly fallen snow.  She walked out to me, stopped a second, then turned around to shake some of the snow off her paw before returning to the house.

~Brenda/Beau Beau and Angie

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Photo Hunt - Kindness

Kindness is not jumping on your Sisfur.  Beau Beau is looking but he was trying to be a good boy knowing that Santa was watching... :-)

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Staircase Spiral

A staircase at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL, US.  I had been seeking a nice staircase to take a photo of and as I was walking around the hotel I ran across this one.  Picture taken hand held and darker than I would have liked but it goes along with the feel of the hotel.  It's older, warm toned, with low lighting.  Nicely different than other spiral staircases.  Simply lovely architecture!